Finally getting to grips with the Ducati
Northern Ireland’s Eugene Laverty is finally starting to come to grips with his Aspar Ducati after one of the most difficult pre-season campaigns imaginable. First Laverty broke his wrist after only a handful of laps at Jerez in the final test of 2015, before losing most of the Sepang test after a stuck throttle and then brake failure forced him to jump from the bike at high speed, denting his confidence further.
Yet despite the setbacks he believes his poor results throughout official testing will have no bearing on his race pace once the season starts.
In the final round of testing in Qatar, Laverty received a very welcome confidence boost, just when he needed it most.
“It’s a big relief to fall in love with your bike again. Not enjoying riding; that’s never happened me before. On the last day in Qatar I felt really content and we were pushing on. I really tried for a lap time using a new tyre and all I could do was 1:57.1. That was the limit. I was thinking ‘s**t, where’s the 1:56 at here, never mind the 1:55?’”
“After that we worked on the setting and I began to understand. Now I’ve stopped the front tyre slipping so much, I’ve stopped it jumping. It’s amazing how you get used to a sensation like that, when the tyre is slipping and moving. All of a sudden we fixed it and now it feels how it should!”